Ashland Council hears Complaints from citizens of Grass Poisoning

The Ashland Council met Monday, June 20, 2016 for their regular scheduled meeting. All council members were present. With the absence of Mayor Larry Fetner, Council member Bobbie Steed served as Mayor Pro Tem.

Council member Wolfe made the inquiry if there was any way to know how much revenue had been brought in since the city had gone wet. City Administrator Chelsey Wynn stated they had opened up a separate accounts so they could keep up with this information. Wynn reported over $1,000.00 in excised tax for the distributors who were able to sell in May. This was from just 3 businesses that month, one that was only able to sell for 2 weeks out of this month. Another account reports over $2800.00 from alcohol licenses and fees.

Notice of election for city officials was set for August 23, 2016. This election will be for Mayor and all five council members. Ashland citizens will place their vote at the Wynn Building on this date from 7:00 am-7:00 pm. A runoff election will take place on October 4, 2016 if needed.

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Ashland resident Sheila Brown, and son Lee Roy Brown address council

Ashland citizen, Sheila Brown was present to address the council about the city maintenance department accidentally spraying roundup on her yard, killing her grass and threatening a symbolic flower bed in her mother’s memory that she planted over 23 years ago. This flower bed was established with just one bulb dug up out of her mother’s flower garden at her passing and transplanted to her yard. Each year, as the flowers grew, she would transplant until eventually the beds were filled.

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Mrs. Brown’s yard

Brown’s son, LeeRoy Brown was also present as his yard suffered damage too, along with the rest of 4th street East.  Brown said the maintenance guys had been very accommodating about this matter and had been spraying fertilizer on the damaged area, but that this would not bring the grass back.  Maintenance employee Jody Brown made the suggestion to plant grass seeds, rake the dead area back to neutralize the poison and keep it from eroding in Mrs. Brown’s yard and to do whatever they could to get the grass growing again in this damaged area. On behalf of the maintenance department, he apologized to both Sheila and Lee Roy for this accident.

Council member Gail Thompson reported that Chelsey and Robin would be moving into the New City Hall ( former PNC Bank) hopefully in the last week of June, as carpet will be laid in their two offices first. Thompson asked that everyone be patient with the transition of this move.

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The following agenda items were approved:

  • Approval to change council meeting date from July 4, 2016 to July 5, due to holiday.
  • Approval to pay $325.00 for advertising signs to Volunteer Athletic Club for baseball, softball, and football fields.
  • Approval to purchase play equipment for the park from GameTime at a total cost of $7503.61
  • Approval of alcohol license to Jordan’s Convenience Store.
  • Approval for the police department to purchase 7 automatic defibrillators and 6 trauma kits at a total cost of $10,469 ( $9,700.00 from grant funds and $769.00 from city funds)
  • Approval to accept resignation from part-time dispatcher Holly Smith effective June 24, 2016
  • Approval to open the position of part-time dispatcher position and advertise job opening for 2 weeks
  • Approval to accept city canopy and support column rules and regulations
  • Approval to purchase phone system at New City Hall from Southern Data at $5,326.00. Council member Brad Wolfe was opposed.
  • Approval of “Request for Access to Public Records” form.
  • Approval of content for City Flag
  • Approval for the maintenance department to repair damage of accidental grass poisoning to resident’s yards on 4th street East.
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more grass damage to Brown’s yard

The following items were tabled:

  • to pay $2000.00 to S.S. Nesbitt for right of way permit bond policy
  • Limb pick-up rules and regulations

The following item died due to lack of motion:

  • to accept the resignation at Maintenance Supervisor Jeremy Nash

 

 

Lineville Citizen Addresses Council with Zoning Issues

The Lineville City Council met Monday, June 20, 2016 with all members present for the regular scheduled meeting.

There was brief discussion of a new Barbeque restaurant that will be housed in the Young House. It is set to open sometime very soon.

CEO Chamber Executive Tiffany Young was unable to attend the meeting, as she was scheduled to present the monthly briefing, so each council member was given a handout of the information, which included the following:

Chamber Briefing- May 19-June 20, 2016

*Continuing work on the Chamber Facebook page and Website

* Promoting events and posts from our Chamber members.

New Chamber Member

  • Clay Quality Health Care

The Chamber’s Grand Opening will be Friday June 24th. The event will go from 9am-2pm with a ribbon cutting at noon. We will have door prizes and refreshments. We hope that the Mayor, City Council, and City workers will be able to join us for the opening!

The Chamber will be holding a movie night on Friday June 24th. The movie is Woodlawn and this event will be held in the Lineville City Park at 7pm.

Our next movie night will be held in the Ashland City Park on August 5th.

Reaching out to possible new Chamber Members

Promoting events including:

  • * Cheaha State Park Events
  • * Grand Opening
  • * Movie Night
  • * Ashland Community Garden 
  • * News from Lineville and Ashland Elementary Schools.
  • * Art Camp
  • *Color Run

Lineville city resident Diana Cline was present to voice concerns she was having involving the empty lot next door to her residence. Below is her presentation:

My plea today is for help with our city zoning laws. My property address is 60052 Hwy 49, Lineville.

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Diana Cline

Back when we were having new sidewalks laid, the property next to me changed (empty lot owned by Matt Hooton). The contractor had framed the sidewalk to look like all the other businesses long that part of the city. Matt talked them into changing the walk in front of his lot to be an entrance and also had them move it back further to cover Senator Dial’s property just in front of his garage door. At that time, there was still a partial ground structure where the former building had stood. It was like that when I bought my property in 2008. Since that opening was provided, I have had numerous problems with whomever Matt rents the Young House to and the Thrift Store and the Utility Assistance program. The all use the property like it is a road and a parking lot.

I have put up stakes to keep them off my grass and they tear it down. Now, I have invested in shrubs and so far that keeps them off my grass, but has NOT slowed down the traffic. Day and night, cars and big trucks come and go from there to the Young House property. I have had downed telephone lines and power lines so much that the Chief Engineer with Alabama Power came out to talk to me because it seems to be that they are having to pay overtime to repair the same problem over and over. They now have a stake out there and you can see it in the pictures I have provided. Alabama Power wants to set a new pole, but they want the lot returned to its original use. The engineer told me the utilities are designed for businesses to be along there and not roads. He said eventually, we will have sewere problems by heavy trucks driving over the sewer lines.

Matt recently tried to sell the property to the man who owns the Smith house and I was there listening to what he said. I went out and told the man that the lot is NOT a roadway or alley, although Matt kept insisting that it was. The records show this is a business lot. I have tried to get the people from the Utilities Assistance program to park in the city lot next to the jewelry store to no avail. Now, with the new restaurant coming in, I am having trouble again. They are using it for entrance and exit to the Young property and I am sure they will want the delivery trucks to use it as well.

This weekend, the men stood at my property line and were talking about billboard signage and parking for the restaurant. They are wanting to put it right on the property line to get the best view from both directions. I don’t know what their hours will be, but I do know the property values are going down with trouble now at both ends of my street. My problem is NOT with a new business coming in, it is a zoning use problem. 

My second zoning problem is this. When Carolyn Smith sold me the property she had paid for all three properties to be rezoned from residential to residential/commercial. That was great as I was opening a business and needed to live there also. Two years ago when I went for refinancing, the appraiser said the property had never been changed and so the value was lower than expected. The courthouse says that comes to you and not them. I need to have that changed right away.

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empty lot beside Cline’s property

Please help me with these two situations as I may have to put my house on the market and take a loss as it has not turned out to be what I thought I was buying. We do have zoning laws that are in place and they need to be reinforced. Please give me direction on how to proceed with these two problems. 

This concluded Mrs. Cline’s presentation. City Administrator Donna Mathews stated the property was indeed zoned as commercial/residential and filed at Lineville City Hall. The Mayor told Cline that there wasn’t much the city could do as long as Hooton or whomever owned that property weren’t violating city law, but that they would consult their attorney to see what  action that could be taken in this matter, if any.

The following agenda items were approved:

  • Approval to change next meeting date from July 4 to July 6 at 5:00 pm.
  • Approval to renew RDS Discovery/Recovery contract to collect taxes for the city.
  • Approval to raise starting pay for new librarian from minimum wage to $8.66 hourly and change new library hours from 10:00-5:00 pm Monday-Friday beginning July 1, 2016.
  • Approval for alcohol license for Piggly Wiggly
  • Approval of Resolution 6-20-2016-1: giving notice of city election to be held  for Mayor and all council members on August 23, 2016. If necessary, a runoff election will be held Oct. 4, 2016.
  • Approval of Resolution 6-20-2016-2: setting polling hours from 7:00 am-7:00 pm August 23, 2016.
  • Approval to reaffirm Ordinance 1996-6-3-1: qualifying fees for any candidates for city election. Qualifying fees are $50.00 per candidates. Qualifying period will be July 5-19.
  • Approval to reaffirm  Ordinance 2016-2-1-2: establishing the use of electronic voting devices.
  • Approval to reaffirm Ordinance 2008-6-16-1: establishing City Hall as absentee voting site.
  • Approval to reaffirm Ordinance 2016-5-4-1: establishing old elementary kindergarten building as voting site.

Under the recommendation of assistant Chief of Police Shane Dunnagan,  council members approved to open a police officer position and take applications until July 15, 2016 at 5:00 PM.

The meeting was then adjourned.

 

 

Photos of the week June 13-19

10. Halei Smith experienced a range of emotions when she took her first huey chopper ride recently and boy, does it show on her face!  Halei is getting just a little taste of her future here and I think the left side pretty much tells it all in the pre-flight jitters. Oh, but after the nerves, look at this face once they are up in the air.  Halei Smith is having a blast! One extreme to the other!  I love it! Halei in the daughter of Chris and Andrea Smith. Halei is a young Marine out of Jacksonville, AL.

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9. Not many people are familiar with Coleta Valley area, but I can tell you from experience there’s a little slice of heaven at the Stivers farm there. The view, the people, the scenery is spectacular. In fact, you will probably be seeing more from them as we go along. This radiant sun dog was captured by the farm’s mistress, Bekki Stivers. And since I’m a sucker for a good view, well, here ya go…

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8. I choose pictures for very different reasons. Some you may not be able to look and see any big significance in them, but there’s always a method to the madness inside my head, lol. This is Dantae Thomas and Travis Pollock, of Lineville Boy Scout Troop 222,  as they present the colors for the Clay County VFW Memorial Day Ceremony at Lineville Park.  This is what I call raising kids right and a good scout troop can teach a child positive qualities that will follow them throughout their lifetime. It’s like planting a seed of integrity that grows within them throughout the years. Sadly, the participation level of youth in Boy and Girl Scouts has fallen tremendously over time…and that’s part of why these smiling faces in uniform make this photo so special. 

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7. Who’s the best Uncle in the world? Well, three year old Kynlee Seals will tell you now that it’s Uncle Zach Burton! Apparently Uncle Zach’s stock went up considerably with Miss Kynlee when he decided to make her fly through the air while she squeals with delight! Good job, Uncle Zach! Something tells me this will be a regular occurrence over the Summer 🙂 Kynlee is the daughter of Josh and Bethany Seals.

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6. I simply LOVE the color contrast in this one! Ed Browning is a good shot with a camera and the colors in this one are stunning! And it makes me want to be sitting on that beach, too. That’s when you know a picture is a good one, when it makes you wish you were right there….

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5. This one is symbolic of summertime! Lazy days…

Jason, Addison and Claire Harris are just killing time at a family lake, laying and “catching” fish. To children, summer days are endless and time is usually never a factor. Days like this make for some of the best memories and the black and white contrast takes me back to my own childhood. Parents are William and Samantha Harris.

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4. Start ’em out young and raise ’em right! Proud grandfather, Gene Miller, has spent his Father’s Day crow hunting with his children and grandson, Miller Yates, who was quite taken with hunting. His mother, Megan, tells me  two and a half year old Miller wasn’t at all scared of the gunshots and even volunteered to go pick up the crows. Looks like we may have a little chip off the ole’ block in the making here. Miller is the son of Logan and Megan Yates.

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3. Just hanging around! Three year old Bryson Hardy LOVES playing on the monkey bars and seems to be quite fearless too, I might add! Of course, it may be because he knows Mama is right there with him, or it could just be his personality. Time will tell…Bryson is the son of  Shaquanna Hardy.

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2. Oh, this one is too precious for words! When Matthew Luker and Kendall Grant brought their firstborn, Aubree Jane, home from the hospital, they weren’t too sure how their 7 month old puppy, Nova would behave. So, with that being said, I think this picture speaks for itself. Looks like love at first sight! Something tells me this little girl will always have a little “extra protection” in the future as long as Nova is around 🙂

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  1. In honor of Father’s Day, I think I have no other choice but to pick this little cutie pie! Little 19 month old  Marleigh may be selling her kisses a little short, but as long as Daddy, Jon Michael Tinney is around, he’ll spend every nickel he’s got for just a taste of his sweet girl’s chubby cheeks. Just look at that smile! This little girl sure loves her Daddy! Marleigh is the daughter of Kayla and Jon Michael Tinney. pic 9 june 18

 

Top 10 photos for week of June 5-12

10. I think we’ve all been here before….that moment when you emerge from the pool and suddenly it’s FREEZING, regardless of what the thermometer reads! Bless these babies hearts. Looks like they had a little too much fun and are now in need of a nap. Taken at Shepherds Hill Homestead in the Mellow Valley community. https://www.facebook.com/Shepherds-Hill-Homestead-115021018550548/?fref=ts

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9. LAWD, HAVE MERCY!!! I can’t even look at this picture without my mouth watering! This is some spread for Kasey McGraw’s  birthday gathering and I just have to say that I have never seen such a delectable use of kiddie pool. Just give me a fork and a roll of paper towels and I will plant my happy self there until I pass out from pure gluttony 🙂 Photo courtesy of Shannon Willingham.

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8. Pure, lovely tranquility…Sabrina Harry gets up early every morning to watch the splendor of the sun rise at Harmony Pointe near Flat Rock. And I can’t say that I blame her a bit. With a view like this, it would probably put a smile on your face for the rest of the day. And then there’s the sunset too…

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7. Ahhh, sweet summer time! This one brings back good memories from my childhood, when all the neighborhood kids used to love to see the guys coming to flush the hydrants. It doesn’t get  much better than that! Just a day in the life for Goodwater Fire Dept….

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6. The Boys of Summer….this one about says it all. These little guys have played their heart out all season and now, the Lineville 8U All-Stars will represent Lineville at the state tournament in Athens, AL next weekend. We wish them the best of luck! Photo courtesy of April Wilkerson.

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5. This one is a 2-fer! What can I say about this program?! For over 20 years now, the Clay County Arts League has held Arts Camp in June and it has literally exploded over that length of time. Over 200 kids attend this week long event taught by teachers and volunteers. Throughout this week, these kids get in touch with their creative side and, as you can see, have a blast doing it. Just an amazing, tremendous program and my hat is off to the Arts League and anyone else who continues to make this event such a huge success with each passing year!

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13418412_1067053360031987_4376888984722352986_o4. Ru-Ro! Shamed by your own Mommy! It seems that someone is in a bit of trouble! I bet if he could talk, he would say something to the effect of “Hello, my name is Sarge and I am a Chew-a-holic”. As you can see, things ain’t all roses in the canine world, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see if everything comes out alright for our four-legged friend here.  The owner of this beautiful, shameful creature is Patt  High of Wedowee.

13435887_10205836039212811_899599463_n3. If you are lucky enough to know this woman, then you will know why I chose this picture, because she is a diamond in the rough. Beverly McCullers has battled cancer for over 7 years now, beginning with ovarian, then spread to stomach and lungs. But that doesn’t stop her from attending each and every game that  her grandson, Hunter McCullers, plays in. Over a five year period, Beverly has only missed one of Hunter’s  games and that was when she was in the hospital . Beverly is the best cheerleader on the bleachers for not only Hunter, but the entire team ( 11-12 Lineville All Stars). Matter of fact, they all affectionately refer to her as Grandma. You can see her high-fiving all the team members after a winning a very important game in a  thrilling manner. She may get a little upset with me for choosing this picture, because she doesn’t see what I see….just a beautiful person from the outside in….

13413826_10205836034492693_2141127309_n2. *Sigh* Don’t cha just hate a bad hair day? Little one-year old Natalie Bearden is figuring out early that hair can be one of the most untameable assets a girl has. Oh well, at least she doesn’t have to fix it yet…that’s Mommy’s problem….well, for now anyway, lol. Good Luck, Mom! Messy hair or not, she is adorable! Natalie is the daughter of Jennifer and Jason Bearden.

13435971_10205836034052682_1934439316_n1. We’ll call this one “Move along here…nothing to see….and whatever it was, we didn’t do it!” LOL. Little Carly Jones and Stetson Griffin are quite busy here making a mud masterpiece and don’t seem to be appreciate being interrupted. Who hasn’t played in the mud in their earlier childhood, making mud biscuits that some of us actually ate too! Still, after all this time, it remains one of the kid’s favorite past times though Three year-old Carly is the daughter of Brittany and Michael Jones and two year old Stetson is the son of Kim Harmon and James Griffin.

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911 names new Coordinator

The Clay County E-911 Board met Thursday, June 9, 2016 for their regular scheduled meeting. During this meeting the board voted to hire senior dispatcher, Derra Simmons, as 911 Director. Derra was born in Randolph County. She has been working as dispatcher for 12 years and has been serving as acting 911 Director since late January of this year, since Marsha Spurlin was terminated from that position.

BOE meets in Called Session

The Board of Education met for a special called session on Thursday, June 9, 2016 to approve the following personnel action items:
Transfers:
Dena Burkhalter from Central High School Secretary to Central High School Bookkeeper
Karen Carr – Reinstated from being on loan to the State Department with the ARI program to Central High School as English Teacher.
Resignation:
Ben Endress as Math teacher at Central Jr. High School
Open Positions
Math Teacher – Central Jr. High School
Elementary Teacher – Ashland Elementary School
Secretary – Central High School
The next regular meeting is scheduled for June 27, 2016, at 4:00, at the Board office

Clay County Citizens reporting IRS Phone Scams

Sadly, we live in a day where scams, hackers, and identity theft are on the rise. I swear it amazes me what lengths these scammers will go to just to keep from earning an honest living. And sadly, its our elderly generation who are the most at risk.

Here is Clay County, we have always been fortunate to be able to avoid problems like these as they arise for the most part, but not anymore. It is here and these lowlifes are slowly working their way through our communities.

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 Our local Sheriff’s office and the Commission office are receiving numerous phone calls and actual visits from victims of these threatening phone scams. This is just to make you aware that this is happening in our community and to ask you to spread the word.

There are many of our elderly population that do not employ the use of a computer and may not see our posts on Facebook or read it in the newspaper. So, please share with anyone you think may be at risk so that our citizens are safe from becoming a victim.

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a warning that scammers are preying on taxpayers by impersonating the IRS with fake phone calls and emails.

Just remember this VERY important information:

The IRS Will Never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, here’s what you should do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page or call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
  • If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.

 

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IRS warns of Continued Scams, Varied Tactics as the Tax Deadline Nears

IR-2016-62, April 13, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued a warning that scammers may try using the April 18 tax deadline to prey on hard-working taxpayers by impersonating the IRS and others with fake phone calls and emails. Even after the tax deadline passes, taxpayers should know the telltale signs of a scam and tips to protect themselves from a variety of phone scams and phishing emails.

“We’ve seen continuing activity in these scams throughout the filing season,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “As the tax deadline nears, these criminals may try and trick honest taxpayers over the phone or via email, and people should remain vigilant. After the tax deadline, watch out for these scammers promising a refund or threatening you with an unexpected tax bill.”

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These scam artists frequently masquerade as being from the IRS, a tax company and sometimes even a state revenue department. By email, they try enticing people to click on links in official-looking messages containing questions related to their “tax refund.” Report these emails tophishing@irs.gov. By phone, many scammers use threats to intimidate and bully people into paying a “tax bill.” They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the driver’s license of their victim if they don’t get the money.

Variations of these scams can be seen nationwide, and it’s more important than ever to be cautious with providing personal or financial information. As part of the effort to protect taxpayers, the IRS has teamed up with state revenue departments and the tax industry to make sure taxpayers understand the dangers to their personal and financial data as part of the “Taxes. Security. Together” campaign.

Some examples of the varied tactics seen this year are:

  • Soliciting W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals (see news release IR-2016-34)
  • “Verifying” tax return information over the phone (IR-2016-40)
  • Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry (IR-2016-28)

There are some important reminders for taxpayers nationwide about these schemes.

Watch Out for Threatening Phone Calls

Beware of scammers making unsolicited calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via a phishing email.

Scammers often alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.

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Avoid Email Phishing Attempts

There has been a surge in email scams this year that appear to be from a tax agency or a tax software company.

Never reply to emails, texts or pop-up messages asking for your personal, tax or financial information. One common trick by criminals is to impersonate a business such as your financial institution, tax software provider or the IRS, asking you to update your account and providing a link. For small business, these schemes may try impersonating a company leader and request payroll and human resource information for employees in your company. Never click on links even if they seem to be from organizations you trust. Go directly to the organization’s website.

And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you see an email that says “You won a free cruise” or “The IRS has a refund waiting for you,” odds are high that it is a phishing attempt looking to get your personal information.

If you get a phishing email, remember this important advice:

  • Don’t reply to the message.
  • Don’t give out your personal or financial information.
  • Forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. Then delete it.
  • Don’t open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer.

More information on how to report phishing or phone scams is available on IRS.gov.